This letter is an appeal to the owners of The Old Farm Market and the Municipality of Oak Bay to improve the bicycle parking facility adjacent to the store.
The Old Farm Market at the corner of Estevan and Cadboro Bay Road has been a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. The owners do a terrific job bringing us, in particular, fresh fruit and vegetables. The store quickly established itself as part of the commercial neighbourhood hub at Estevan and Cadboro Bay Road. On almost every shopping trip there I run into someone I know from the neighbourhood.
One of its attractions is that local residents can walk or cycle to the store for small purchases and leave the car at home. There is a steady stream of bike helmet-wearing seniors, parents and children evident as well as people with backpacks and carry-bags. A missing element is sufficient bicycle racks to accommodate the number of people who shop by bicycle.
Yes, there is one small bike rack, a leftover from the prior business. It is jammed up beside the trash bin just off the entrance to the parking lot. There is precious little room and the location is probably the least safe on the property. Many people have been converting to electric-assist bikes, often with carriers for passengers and goods. These bikes are larger and need more space for parking than the traditional two-wheelers.
Prior to opening the store, the area for car parking was repaved and upgraded. Very nicely done. But the bicycle parking facilities were not similarly improved.
Please, owners of The Old Farm Market and Oak Bay council, find a way to address the shortage of bicycle parking at this location. It will be good for business and another positive step forward by the Municipality toward its goal of enabling an active lifestyle for its citizens.